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  • Cantopop star Denise Ho (right) plays the naive younger banker Teresa.

In a splendid coincidence, Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running and Johnnie To’s Life Without Principle are playing back-to-back at the Gene Siskel Film Center tonight (if you’re busy, they’re screening again, Running on Tuesday at 6 PM with Fred Camper providing an introduction, and Principle tomorrow at 3 PM). I’ve compared Minnelli and To before; and while they’re associated with different genres (Minnelli with musicals and melodramas, To with gangster movies and romantic comedies), their similarities are more instructive than their differences. Both convey a passionate love of style: even in these director’s lesser work, one can count on brilliant color schemes, highly detailed sets, and balletic movements from the camera and actors alike. Both entwine visual and narrative elements with a sense of fluidity that recalls music as much as it does movies. And both have succeeded in commercial cinema on personal, artistic terms.